Emotion in Old Norse Literature Translations, Voices, Contexts (Studies in Old Norse Literature, Book 1)

December 3, 2020
Emotion in Old Norse Literature Translations, Voices, Contexts (Studies in Old Norse Literature, Book 1)

Authors throughout history have relied on the emotional make-upof their readers and audiences to make sense of the behaviours andactions of fictive characters. But how can a narrative voicecontained in a text evoke feelings that are ultimately never realor actual, but a figment of a text, a fictive reality created outof words? How does one reconcile interiority - a presumed modernconceptualisation - with medieval emotionality?The volume seeks to address these questions. It positions itselfwithin the larger context of the history of emotion, offering anovel approach to the study of literary representations ofemotionality and its staging through voice, performativity andnarrative manipulation, probing how emotions are encoded in texts.The author argues that the deceptively laconic portrayal of emotionin the Icelandic sagas and other literature reveals an "emotivescript" that favours reticence over expressivity and exposes anarrative convention of emotional subterfuge through narrativesilences and the masking of emotion. Focusing on the ambivalentborders between prose and poetic language, she suggests that poeticvocalisation may provide a literary space within which emotiveinteriority can be expressed. The volume considers a wide range ofOld Norse materials - from translated romances through Eddic poetryand slendingasögur (sagas of Icelanders) to indigenousromance.Sif Rikhardsdottir is Professor of Comparative Literature at theUniversity of Iceland and Vice-Chair of the Institute of Researchin Literature and Visual Arts.Table of ContentsIntroductionLiterary Identities and Emotive ScriptsEmotive SubjectivityVoice and VocalisationPublic Masking and Emotive InteriorityModulating EmotionConclusion